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Cal Guardsmen return from Kuwait mission

A team from the 49th Personnel Company, California National Guard, arrives home after a 10-month deployment to Kuwait.

A team from the 49th Personnel Company, California National Guard, arrives home after a 10-month deployment to Kuwait.

by Staff Sgt. Eddie Siguenza
California National Guard Public Affairs

July 14, 2021

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nearly two dozen California Army National Guardsmen from the 49th Personnel Company, 340th Brigade Support Battalion, 115th Regional Support Group, touched home territory recently after completing a 10-month deployment at Camps Arifjan and Buehring, Kuwait.

Serving with Active-duty forces and Army Reservists, the Cal Guardsmen assisted in processing approximately 50,000 personnel transitioning throughout the Southwest operations area.

“The theater gateway mission ensures accountability of personnel at echelon,” said U.S. Army Capt. Curtis A. Nouchi, 49th PC commander. “It is essential to the delivery of combat power and sustainment for all operations throughout Central Command.”

Nouchi explained that the 49th PC provided mission command to three human resources platoons located at seven areas.

“The Soldiers are very experienced at providing personnel accountability, logistics and financial support for emergency state operations,” Nouchi added. “They were able to apply their knowledge and skills developed stateside and apply them to a theater-level mission.”

In January 2021, the team helped establish the Eisenhower Theater Gateway (ETG) at Camp Buehring which reduces travel time  and makes easier the redeployment process in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. Buehring is about a three-hour drive from Arifjan, so the ETG provides easy location access.

Photo of U.S. troops in Kuwait Jan. 2021
Photo of U.S. troops in Kuwait January 2021.
Photo of California Guardsmen.

U.S. Army Lt. Col Karston Jack, commander, 340th Brigade Support Battalion; Staff Sgt. Kathleen Hall, readiness noncommissioned officer, 49th Personnel Company; Spc. Gisselle Camarillo; Command Sgt. Maj. David Eckert, 115th Regional Support Group; and Staff Sgt. Cesar Barraza, 49th supply sergeant.

U.S. Army Lt. Col Karston Jack, commander, 340th Brigade Support Battalion; Staff Sgt. Kathleen Hall, readiness noncommissioned officer, 49th Personnel Company; Spc. Gisselle Camarillo; Command Sgt. Maj. David Eckert, 115th Regional Support Group; and Staff Sgt. Cesar Barraza, 49th supply sergeant.

U.S. Army Spc. Gisselle Camarillo of the 49th Personnel Company is greeted by her brother at the Sacramento International Airport, after returning from a 10-month deployment to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, July 8.

U.S. Army Spc. Gisselle Camarillo of the 49th Personnel Company is greeted by her brother at the Sacramento International Airport, after returning from a 10-month deployment to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, July 8.

“There were four things we were responsible for: theatre gateway personnel accountability, casualty operations, postal and administrative work,” said U.S. Army Spc. Benjamin Aleman, the last to arrive at Sacramento International Airport July 8. “That’s the one thing I really brought back from this deployment. I was able to do my job as a 42 alpha (human resources specialist). Doing administrative work was great.”

In Kuwait, the Soldiers gained valuable experiences working and associating with other nationalities as Canadian, French, European and African military forces were stationed there as well. 

“The Soldiers benefitted greatly from seeing their experience contribute to the success of the Army mission across multiple domains,” added Nouchi.

U.S. Army Central Command oversees Area Support Group - Kuwait, which provides support for Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Integration (RSOI) of forces to facilitate theater operations. 

“The biggest thing I learned from my entire experience in Kuwait is to always expect the unexpected. That definitely makes you a lot stronger,” said U.S. Army Spc. Gisselle Camarillo, who arrived with tears of happiness after being greeted by her brother. “There are always things that go wrong or things that don’t go as planned, so you always have to readjust. You always have to be able to adapt. Eventually you’ll be able to figure it all out.”


“The Soldiers benefitted greatly from seeing their experience contribute to the success of the Army mission across multiple domains.”

Fiona Nand, spouse of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shavneel Nand of the 49th Personnel Company, hugs her husband after arriving July 8 at the Sacramento International Airport, concluding a 10-month deployment at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Fiona Nand, spouse of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shavneel Nand of the 49th Personnel Company, hugs her husband after arriving July 8 at the Sacramento International Airport, concluding a 10-month deployment at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

“The biggest thing I learned from my entire experience in Kuwait is to always expect the unexpected. That definitely makes you a lot stronger.”
Spc. Gisselle Camarillo,

The Nand family -- Beven, 11, Kyle, 7 and Fiona, spouse -- await the arrival of Staff Sgt. Shavneel Nand of the 49th Personnel Company July 8 at the Sacramento International Airport.

The Nand family -- Beven, 11, Kyle, 7 and Fiona, spouse -- await the arrival of Staff Sgt. Shavneel Nand of the 49th Personnel Company July 8 at the Sacramento International Airport.